Baby face aside, Davis Thompson didn’t look like a PGA Tour rookie in his early 20s. Get started most weeks on American Express 2023.
The 23-year-old Georgia grad led after the first and second rounds at the Coachella Valley, where his five eagles on 36 holes tied the record for most eagles made in a 72-hole event (1983–present). In Sunday’s final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, California, he was grouped with 2018 MX winner and World No. 4 Jon Rahm and JT Poston.
“I had a great week,” said Thompson, who eventually finished within a shot of Rahm and what would have been a tiebreaker for his first PGA Tour win on Sunday. “It is my dream to compete against the best players in the world and I did it today and showed that I can keep up with them. It was fun.
“A lot of nerves and I hit a lot of quality golf shots under pressure, which was really cool.”
Thompson played 5-to-14-under par for the first three rounds spread across La Quinta Country Club and PGA West Stadium and the Tournament Course. On the Stadium Course on Sunday, Thompson played all four par-5s under par after his two-under effort on Saturday.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Thompson said of the gap between his two weekend tours. “I had a few tee shots down the line. I mean, I didn’t really give myself a chance to do that on 5 and 16 because of bad tee shots. Other than playing par 5 all week, I really didn’t play that well today. did.
Thompson explained, “John made a par 5, which I thought was going to birdie, but he made a par 5 and shot 16. It was two shots.” “I played those holes 1 over. So it was like a two-shot swing there.”
On Sunday, Thompson was T-62 in the fairway, won 62 in strokes: off the tee and 54 in SG: around the green among the 69 players who made the cut. But his toughest break of the day came on the 17th green, where Thompson made a gutter-wrenching par after a 48-foot birdie putt hit the flagstick and missed the hole. The putt would have tied him and Rahm with one hole to play.
“Generally I always leave the club a long distance. I feel like it helps with my speed,” Thompson said of his decision not to retire. “Unfortunately, I’ll probably be playing the ‘what if’ game in my head for a long time.”
In addition to the missed opportunity at No. 17, Thompson still had a chance to birdie the final hole after missing the green with his approach. Despite his poor performance on the greens that day, the television broadcast emphasized Thompson’s attempt to hit a difficult chip to inside two feet and was nearly out.
“I went through all the options in my mind. I could have hit a low pothole and run, but that hill was too steep,” Thompson said of the show. “I left my 60s and I knew I had enough, I had enough lies to take it fast. If you want to do it just go back, you chip it in. If you want to do it If you want to hit close, you can put it. So obviously he was trying to get it. I thought it could happen as well.
Thompson has made the cut in five of his six starts so far this season and finished T-9 at the season-opening Fortinet Championship. He went toe-to-toe with one of the world’s best on Sunday and didn’t back down under the most severe pressure. He is extremely talented for his age. Moxy too.
Keep an eye on the young rascal. You could too.
The story originally appeared on Golfweek